World Coins

Pobjoy Mint issues fifth Sea Creatures 50-penny coin

The fifth coin in the Sea Creatures series of 50-penny coins issued on behalf of the British Indian Ocean Territory features the yellow longnose butterflyfish.

Images courtesy of the Pobjoy Mint.

The Pobjoy Mint has issued the fifth coin in the Sea Creatures series of 50-penny coins issued on behalf of the British Indian Ocean Territory.

The fifth coin features the yellow longnose butterflyfish, named for its distinctive elongated snout.

The reverse of the coin features an adult yellow longnose butterflyfish swimming along coral reefs.

The yellow longnose butterflyfish (Forcipiger longirostris) is a very common butterflyfish. Along with its relative, the big longnose, they have one of the longest Hawaiian fish names, lau-wiliwili-nukunuku-’oi-’oi. Its meaning is “leaf of the wili-wili tree with a sharp nose.” The hue of the fish is similar to the coloring of the big, billowy leaves of the Hawaiian wili-wili tree.

The yellow longnose butterflyfish has a disc-like shaped body, laterally compressed, and its long protruding snout is tipped with a small mouth. The fish’s dorsal fin is continuous and its tail fin is rounded. The fish’s body is bright yellow, as are its dorsal, anal, and pelvic fins. A black bar over the nape and covering the upper half of the eyes gives a mask-like appearance.

These butterflyfish spend most of their time near exposed seaward reefs where a lot of coral growth, rocky caves, and ledges provide protection, and they are also found in lagoon reefs.

They inhabit depths from between three to 476 feet, in environments that include everything from shallow flats to very deep walls. They are usually seen in pairs, though sometimes are found in small groups or even alone.

Two versions of coin

The obverse features the Pobjoy Mint’s exclusive effigy of Queen Elizabeth II.

The coin is available in a Diamond Finish copper-nickel version and a colorful Proof .925 fine silver version, both with the yellow longnose butterflyfish portrayed in full color.

Both coins weigh 8 grams and measure 27.3 millimeters in diameter.

The copper-nickel coin is presented in a blue pouch, and a special album is sold separately to house all six coins.

The silver version is housed in red box with a certificate of authenticity.

The copper-nickel coin has a mintage limit of 2,750 pieces and retails for $19.95.

The silver coin has a mintage limit of 175 pieces and retails for $69.95.

To order, or for more information, visit the Pobjoy website,

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